H/J Help in Houston?

Hi there,

I’m an adult rerider who recently moved to the Houston area. I’m in a bit of a predicament, and wanted to see if anyone had any recommendations or thoughts regarding my situation.

Me: Horseless, intermediate adult rerider.

Location: Centrally located downtown, and willing to travel up to one hour to ride.

Situation: This summer, I began (re)riding at a H/J facility that I really enjoy approximately 1-2x per week. It’s been wonderful to get back into the sport, but I feel like I’m hitting a wall in terms of learning new things and truly improving my riding.

Details: My stable solely has one school horse–and she is pretty limited in terms of capabilities. No lead changes, simple 2’3"-2’6" courses max, no showing possibilities. I don’t hate riding her, but I want to feel challenged and like I’m moving up. It isn’t just about jumping; my trainer also does not teach any sort of basic dressage/other skills–so on the flat, I also feel like I’m not learning anything past what I knew prior to stopping riding (basic walk-trot-canter, bending, extension, collection…not much else). I don’t think I would be able to afford a lease at my stable–and I also would probably not be able to make the time commitment to ride more than twice per week.

My Question: Does anyone have any recommendations for H/J stables in the Houston area that possibly have more capable lesson horses, or trainers who teach a wider foundation of english riding in their lessons? I know a complicating factor is that many of the barns I initially looked at were solely for leasers or horse owners. Or would I be better off doing something like taking beginner dressage lessons to supplement my current lessons? If so–any dressage barn recos?

Thank you so much for your time in reading this!

You would probably fit in well at the barn I keep my horse! Check out Dev Branham at http://www.devereauxsporthorses.com/. He is in Tomball, I’m in River Oaks and it’s a 35 - 45 minute drive with light traffic (I’d say no traffic, but that doesn’t exist in Houston.)

I moved to Houston this year and wanted a friendly place as an adult amateur, but didn’t have a horse with me and wasn’t sure about leasing. Dev only has a few school horses, but they are fun to ride and his main one is an excellent hunter on which I’m sure you’d find yourself more than happy in terms of capabilities (3’6+ hunter). He’s a hunter/jumper rider, but has a good foundation on the flat. He kept me on the flat for a number of weeks until we could fix some seat issues I had, before he would let me jump. Helped my riding a lot.

He won’t pressure you in to leasing or buying. His schedule is very flexible. The horses are tremendously well-kept and well-loved. Truly an honest horseman and an excellent coach.

Welcome to Houston! :smiley:

Dev is super nice and probably a good choice. There are a number of others that you can check out to see what fits your “style.” The only thing I don’t know is each trainer’s school horse situation.

Marieke Slik - Bright Star Stables (definite dressage background)
Cassie Chapman - Southern Star Farm
Barbara Bryan - Silver Leaf Farm (maybe a bit far out - in the Waller area)
Teri Bludworth - Blue Fox Farm
Kathy O’Connor - Bayview Equestrian Center

Unfortunately, there is also a list of trainers you should stay far, far away from.

There is a GHHJA show at Great Southwest the weekend of Jan 7/8. Always a good way to observe trainers and see how they interact with their students.

El_Dorado, thank you for your reco and for the welcome to town! I will absolutely check out Dev’s stable–I really appreciate it.

Inca–these trainers/barns are a great start, and many I haven’t heard of or found within my own searching–I SO appreciate your time replying. I will definitely be looking into the names you gave–particularly Marieke! From scouring the COTH forums, it does seem that there are a few sketchy ones around the area as well, so it’s really lovely to receive any positive word-of-mouth! :winkgrin:

Krissan Barber is great- she’s a bit outside of Houston proper but it’s a short drive from the Heights/Downtown. Not sure how many school horses she has but there’s always something to ride (traveling owners and stuff) and her Eq and jumper students always do super well at the shows. They do both locals and rated, and I think Krissan also runs an IEA program too.

I second Marine Silk or Krissan Barber.

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Specifiedcupcake & amm2cd, thanks for the recommendations of Krissan. I have actually met her in the past and really liked her, though simply didn’t personally gel with one of her assistant trainers. Maybe it’s time to revisit her stable. I’ll also definitely take a look at Marieke Silk.

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